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by Olav Hammer
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  • Author:
    Olav Hammer
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  • Publisher:
    Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (August 31, 2009)
  • Pages:
    316 pages
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Olav Hammer (born 1958) is a Swedish professor at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense working in the field of history of religion. Hammer has written four books in Swedish and one monograph Claiming Knowledge: Strategies of Epistemology from Theosophy to the New Age (2001) in English. This volume, which was also Hammer's doctoral dissertation in 2000 at Lund University, investigates the rhetorical strategies of legitimization of a number of related new religious movements.

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Olav Hammer (born 1958) is a Swedish professor at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense working in the field of history .

Olav Hammer, ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009. Of the making of books on Jesus there is no end. After you read a few dozen of them, they more or less begin to sound the same. A few pages of skimming and you can have a fairly decent handle on the direction of the argument and the nature of the presuppositions. But every now and then a peculiar volume arrives on your doorstep that causes you to read its contents straight through. In some ways, the volume is similar to Jaroslav Pelikan's Jesus through the Centuries: His Place in the History of Culture.

Few, if any, individuals have had such a profound influence on Western culture as Jesus, even though not a single detail of his life or teaching can be confirmed with certainty. This lack of reliable biographical data has left his life open to broad interpretation. Jesus, gnostic and apocryphal sources insist, never truly died on the cross since he was a divine being, whose human frame was an illusion. Muslim sources affirm that Jesus was a prophet of God and will return at the end of time. Jörg Lanz von Liebenfels formulated racial theories in which Jesus was a redeemer for Aryans only, while the Renaissance polymath Guillaume Postel was convinced that Christ had returned as a Venetian woman. This book explores these and other views without taking sides in any theological arguments and presents research on a variety of alternative Christologies.